How to Become a Member of Online Publishers Association of Nigeria

 

The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) is an association of digital and internet publishers in the country. This is a body that seeks to regulate members’ operations as it has to do with information dissemination through online platforms. This is an association for new media publishers, bloggers and influencers who primarily create original published content for audience consumption through various online platforms.

When was it founded?

OPAN was founded in May 2010 and duly registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on November 14, 2011 by some discerning professionals who wanted to define standards for the fastest growing engagement platform.

Members of OPAN represent the highest standards of online publishing principles that reflect the traditional Journalism values which separate cheap blackmail, harassment and false communication.

Why it was established

Some online publishers came together to form OPAN after observing disruptions and changes that may occur which would overlap with current laws and rules guiding conduct and practice of online publishing. These trustees and founders therefore sought to create a self regulatory body that would provide the means – tested standards for users and practitioners to operate by. These professionals felt the time had come to define standards for the fastest growing engagement platform in modern times – internet-based publishing. It took the whole of four years to get this worked out – owing to the much needed stakeholder consultations across the public and private groupings/entities as well as properly learning best practices from similar associations globally.

As a self-funded organisation, OPAN Nigeria was therefore modeled after similar international standards and affiliations; with specific deliverables to meet the needs of the digital space of the Nigerian market – through credible public sensitization, membership criteria and compliance, reliable research into practice issues and public concerns; and a governance code for the association.

Members of the OPAN stick to highest standards of online publishing principles that reflect the traditional journalism values. Such values separate editorial and commercial messages from cheap blackmail, harassment and false communication. Platforms of members are not expected to use advertising content as editorial, not create editorial content for an advertiser, and always clearly labelling the source of content (including proper attribution) – thereby enhancing the credibility and public trust necessary to support a free press.

OPAN was founded based on international standards of the operations of the Europe and U.S.-based Online Publishers Associations. It was specifically customized to meet the needs of the Nigerian market. It seeks to ensure that Nigeria has an internet publishing industry that is founded on ethical practices based on global standards.

Membership

There are three categories of membership that exits in OPAN. They are as follows:

The Premium Membership

The Premium Membership is open to independent New Media Publishers, Bloggers and Influencers whose principal focus is to create original published content for direct consumption by their consumers, via the web (‘destination sites’) and other digital platforms.

The Premium Membership is designed to develop and encourage strong partnerships between this category of practitioners, to enable them have access to OPAN resources.

Publishers, Bloggers and Influencers that have the following may apply for membership: Dedicated editorial staff; You must have been publishing on the web or other digital platforms for at least 6 months.

The Bronze Membership

The Bronze Membership is open to independent New Media Publishers, Bloggers and Influencers whose principal focus is to create original published content for direct consumption by their consumers, via the web (‘destination sites’) and other digital platforms.

The Bronze Membership is designed to develop and encourage strong partnerships between this category of practitioners, to enable them have access to OPAN resources.

Publishers, Bloggers and Influencers that have the following may apply for membership: Dedicated editorial staff; You must have been publishing on the web or other digital platforms for at least 6 months.

The General Membership

The General Membership is open to independent New Media Publishers, Bloggers and Influencers whose principal focus is to create original published content for direct consumption by their consumers, via the web (‘destination sites’) and other digital platforms.

This category is designed for upcoming Publishers, Bloggers and Influencers so they can have access to OPAN resources as they scale their operations.

Publishers, Bloggers and Influencers that have the following may apply for membership: Dedicated editorial staff; You must have been publishing on the web or other digital platforms for at least 6 months.

Membership Criteria

Board membership is open to companies whose principal focus is to create original published content for direct consumption by their consumers, via the web (‘destination sites’) and other digital platforms;
Publishing companies that have the following may apply for membership;

An online activity revenue centre within the organization;

A dedicated editorial staff;

A dedicated revenue-generating commercial staff;

In addition, the significant portion of companies’ published content must be original; and

You must have been publishing on the web or other digital platforms for at least 6 months.

Membership Benefits

One voting seat on the board, and therefore the opportunity to influence the direction of OPAN – the board determines OPAN’s strategic objectives, overseeing all OPAN initiatives;

Access to leading online research and insight, including our annual industry Report, quarterly Digital Landscape Report (DLR), industry benchmarking research;

Access speaker presentations from all OPAN events;

Access to OPAN website member-only content: Industry reports, research and presentations;

Access to member-only groups – benefit from cross-industry knowledge, be at the forefront of issues facing the industry;

Attending other member-only and Board-only events, such as Directors’ Dinners and subject-specific roundtables, annual summit and Awards ceremony;

Board members are also entitled to free places at our monthly breakfast events & Regular member discounts on other media industry events;

Member discount on training sessions, including E-marketing training;

Gaining contacts and joining industry discussion and networking at industry events;

Publishing press releases promoting your digital business on the OPAN website; and

Access to industry figure interviews.

(With facts from OPAN website. Click here for more on how to join OPAN.

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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